Present

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The Now, that indivisible point which studs the length of infinite line
Whose ends are nowhere, is thine all, the puny all thou callest thine. ~ Richard Francis Burton

The present (or now) is the time range associated with the events perceived directly for the first time, not as a recollection (perceived more than once) or a speculation (predicted, hypothesis, uncertain). It is a period of time between the past and the future, and can vary in meaning from an instant to a day or longer. It is sometimes represented as a hyperplane in space-time, typically called "now", although modern physics demonstrates that such a hyperplane cannot be defined uniquely for observers in relative motion.

Quotes[edit]

The present is an infinitesimal between two infinites. 'Tis a line (a thing without breadth or thickness) moving across the surface of Eternity. The present is no more, by the time you have said, This is present. ~ Henry Harland
Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today. ~ Ernest Hemingway
We think we’re in the present, but we aren’t. The present we know is only a movie of the past. ~ Ken Kesey
  • If you are living in the past or in the future, you will never find a meaning in the present.
    • Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, (2013), p. 9.
  • The present is nothing else than the sum of what one perceives, remembers and hopes for.
    • Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Writings by Fausto Cercignani, 2014, quote 56.
  • Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own;
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today.
  • The present is an infinitesimal between two infinites. 'Tis a line (a thing without breadth or thickness) moving across the surface of Eternity. The present is no more, by the time you have said, This is present.
  • Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today. It's been that way all this year. It's been that way so many times. All of war is that way.
  • We are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we’re in the present, but we aren’t. The present we know is only a movie of the past.
    • Ken Kesey, As quoted by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968) Ch. 11
  • The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present.
  • Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
    Act, — act in the living Present!
    Heart within, and God o’erhead!
  • Don’t shortchange the future, because of fear in the present.
    • Barack Obama, 10 Downing Street reception speech, April 1 2009.
  • There was nothing for it but to pace through just behind or ahead of the spooling present that was never there, caught in the nonexistent interval between the nonexistent past and the nonexistent future.
  • I hearing get, who had but ears,
And sight, who had but eyes before,
I moments live, who lived but years,
And truth discern, who knew but learning’s lore.
  • Many people live habitually as if the present moment were an obstacle that they need to overcome in order to get to the next moment, and imagine living your whole live like that. Always, this moment is not quite good enough because you need to get to the next one.
  • The ego ... reduces the present to a means to an end.
  • The mind, to ensure that it remains in control, seeks continuously to cover up the present moment with past and future.
  • Whereas before you dwelt in time and paid brief visits to the Now, have your dwelling place in the Now and pay brief visits to past and future when required to deal with the practical aspects of your life situation.
  • To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.
  • Just as the moon has no light of its own, but can only reflect the light of the sun, so are past and future only pale reflections of the light, power, and reality of the eternal present. Their reality is “borrowed” from the Now.
  • Make it your practice to withdraw attention from past and future whenever they are not needed. Step out of the time dimension as much as possible in everyday life.
  • To be free of time is to be free of the psychological need of past for your identity and future for your fulfillment.
  • if your destination, or the steps you are going to take in the future, take up so much of your attention that they become more important to you than the step you are taking now, then you completely miss the journey’s inner purpose, which has nothing to do with where you are going or what you are doing, but everything to do with how. It has nothing to do with future but everything to do with the quality of your consciousness at this moment.

External links[edit]

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